More Missteps in Iraq
Other than a troop withdrawal, the one thing that might increase support for the U.S. in Iraq is a serious commitment to reconstruction. The Washington Post tells us that half the money already spent has been "eaten away by the insurgency, a buildup of Iraq's criminal justice system and the investigation and trial of Saddam Hussein." Although only 20 percent of the funds already authorized for reconstruction remain unallocated, the Bush administration has announced that it won't seek further funding from Congress, despite "what authorities say is tens of billions of dollars of work yet to be done merely to bring reliable electricity, water and other services to Iraq's 26 million people." Perhaps this is the administration's answer to critics who complain of its willingness to rebuild Iraq while largely ignoring the need to rebuild New Orleans.
No matter what money the administration spends in Iraq, it can't overcome the damage it causes by its continuing use of violence against the innocent:
A U.S. air strike that Americans said was directed at suspected bombers killed a family of 12 in their home north of Baghdad Monday night, Iraqi officials said Tuesday. A Washington Post special correspondent watched as rescuers removed the bodies of women and children still in their nightclothes.
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